Need Easy? Sometimes I really, really do! I like experimenting and cooking slightly complicated meals, but sometimes I just can’t, not enough time, not enough patience, not enough imagination. I fully expect some of my foodie friends who do not have kids to tease me about this post, go ahead, bring it on!
This weekend was certainly one of those times, we had a family party each day of the three day weekend and I needed to bring something to two of them as well as the normal every day meals and my time was limited. I didn’t even have to think, I went to my go to quick and easy snacks and sides, a few of many I keep handy for just such a weekend.
I almost always keep quite a few things on hand for any night I am just too tired to cook, or if we have a last minute function to attend. Here are just a few examples: Frozen fruits and veggies, frozen meat balls, Progresso Recipe starters, canned tomatoes and sauce, canned jalapenos and green chilies. This way with just a few extra items I can create something fast. I have a very large family so the other challenge is making enough of something to make it worth it. No one would judge me if I brought a pre made tray of cookies or sandwiches, but it would be tough for me to do that. Not because there is anything wrong with that, but cooking is something I enjoy doing, as well as trying to bring something different each time.
NOTE: I did not go into a ton of detail or step by step instructions on these, you have any questions, check out my recipe page, post a question here, tweet me, Facebook me, or email me! I love to hear from people in all these places.
For this weekend I decided on some of the easiest to make, also budget conscious for the amounts I needed to make; Blueberry Cookie Pie, Salsa, Sizzle Snacks and for dinner one night Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Meatballs.
Blueberry Cookie Pie – for this all you do is lay our sugar cookie dough (enough for 6 dozen cookies; updated) in a large pie dish, no need to be careful with this, uneven is fine! Bake to a slightly under-cooked state, soft on top, crunchy on the bottom; them pour Comstock Blueberry Pie filling over the top (2 21oz cans) and put back in the oven to heat filling and then remove and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
You can make your own sugar cookie dough or if you are really wadded up on time just get some pre-made dough! (I can already feel some of my friends cringing!) If you have extra time on your hands and no kiddos biting your ankles you certainly could use grandma’s sugar cookie recipe, organic blueberries from the farmers market and a simple syrup to get the same effect.
Even though this is the easiest thing to make, it gets a lot of raves!
Cauliflower Cheese Soup –
The boys were hungry and I still had some Sizzle Snacks to make, so I put this together. From my freezer I grabbed a large bag of frozen cauliflower and 2 32oz bags of plain meatballs. I threw this in the crock pot with 2 18oz cans of Progresso Recipe Starters, cheese; added 1/2 cup of water. Put the crock pot up on high and let cook for about two hours. Checked to make sure the meat balls were nice and hot and served to the kids with Fishy Crackers! If you are so inclined add a little fresh basil from the garden and/or a few cloves of garlic would be a nice touch.
EZ Salsa – Put one 29 oz can of tomato puree in the blender with 10 washed green onions, 1- 7 oz can of green chilies, 6-10 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup washed cilantro, 1 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp chili flakes, 1 tsp chile powder, 1 tbsp vinegar (apple cider or red wine), 1 cup of water; then blend to a puree. Chill and serve. For at home I like to add a Jalapeno, for people I do not know well, I skip it.
I can triple this recipe pretty easily and on the cheap and make plenty to bring chips and salsa to a party and have plenty for my kids who love chips and salsa.
This looks difficult but it is not at all! I am going to link the recipe from my recipe page, but trust me you can make this one! I like to make this for the holidays because I can buy nearly all the ingredients in bulk at a Sam’s Club or Costco and make a lot of snacks at a very reasonable price. It is such a hit that you really get a bang for your buck with this one! I made three large trays this weekend and it took me about an hour. Find Recipe here: http://www.recipage.com/recipes/6045094.html
I hope if you guys get in a pinch one of these super easy recipes can help you out. I know they have saved my day more than once! Let me know what your easy go to recipes are! I would love to hear from you.
By the way, this was NOT a sponsored post.